Heatwave in France, how to protect yourself?
What is a heatwave? It is of course very hot during the day, but also and above all temperatures that remain very high during the night. But don't worry, there are regions in France that are spared for your summer holidays.
If this episode persists for at least three days and three nights, it can be called a heatwave. If it lasts for less time, it is only a heat wave or peak.
Secondly, the temperatures during this period must also be at least 5 degrees higher than the seasonal norms. Thus, the heatwave temperatures will not be the same in the south of France or in the mountains. For example, in Marseilles in July, we start to use the term “heatwave” when the mercury exceeds 33 degrees... As opposed to only 25 degrees for Chamonix.
In 2020, we have been spared so far, only one brief heatwave was recorded at the end of July. A second one is on the horizon from the 10th of August, but should be short-lived.
Hydrate regularly and wet your body, face and forearms.
Water gives you a pleasant cooling sensation. Towels soaked in ice-cold water from a bathtub and placed in front of your open windows will help keep the heat in. As the water evaporates, it will help to lower the temperature.
Be aware that the risk of hydrocution and drowning is greater in hot weather. The difference between water and body temperature is very large, so be careful to avoid the risk of discomfort.
Lower the shutters to prevent the sun's rays from heating up your home. Avoid using your oven and hobs, but did you know that lights and appliances are also significant sources of heat? Playing on a computer in a heatwave will increase the temperature of your room by a few degrees.
Altitude is an important factor in naturally lowering temperatures. In the Alps in summer, for every 200 metres of altitude difference, the temperature drops by more than 1°C. Thus, at an altitude of 1000 metres, the temperature difference will be 6°C lower than in a city like Paris, which is only 35 metres above sea level.
What if the ideal solution was to rent a chalet in the mountains?
Our Swiss neighbours have come up with a great idea to take advantage of the mild Alpine summer climate and the breathtaking mountain views. You can book a night under the stars, in a hotel room without walls or a roof. The concept is extremely attractive, for an unusual and unforgettable romantic evening in the heart of the Alps.
Funny and offbeat, this way of protecting oneself from the heat wave is a great success. However, it is not very suitable for a family summer holiday or a long stay in the mountains. Choose a holiday rental at altitude where you can enjoy the cool summer weather with your family. If you are travelling with a baby, it is not advisable to stay above 1500m.
There are many holiday rental opportunities in Haute-Savoie. Renting a luxury chalet in the mountains in the summer will always be much more affordable than during the ski holidays. You may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of services offered by these luxury rentals. Swimming pools, private Jacuzzis and saunas are often the norm in Megève chalets. Less well known perhaps, but still offering luxury rentals, many of the villages in Haute-Savoie are well worth a visit. It's hard to imagine the luxury of these beautiful Savoyard homes, hidden behind the discreet facade of a mountain chalet.
In conclusion, be vigilant, take care of the most fragile, i.e. the elderly, the sick and pregnant women. In the event of hot weather, advice will be given from 9am to 7pm on 0800 06 66 66, this line has been set up by the government as part of the heatwave plan. The 3975 is a call centre which enables people at risk to be contacted if they have registered in advance.